Frauds impersonate senior EOW officer, try to dupe his contact list
After commissioner Vivek Phansalkar, joint commissioner of police Pravin Padwal in charge of the Economic Offences Wing is the latest senior officer to fall prey to an impersonation scam
Mumbai After commissioner Vivek Phansalkar, joint commissioner of police Pravin Padwal in charge of the Economic Offences Wing is the latest senior officer to fall prey to an impersonation scam.
Padwal said that on Monday afternoon, he was informed by three different senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officers that they had received WhatsApp messages in his name, seeking money or Amazon gift cards.
The perpetrators have used Padwal’s picture in uniform along with his full name – Pravinkumar T Padwal – to create a fake profile on WhatsApp.
“I was informed about it at around 12.30 pm on Monday. The scamster was trying to trick the officers into sending him money or Amazon gift cards. I have reported the matter to the cyber police,” Padwal said.
Padwal also put out a social media post cautioning his contacts about the attempted fraud and asking them to not fall prey to it.
The incident comes just three days after a similar scam was being attempted in the name of the Mumbai police chief. A complaint in this regard was registered with the LT Marg police station and the investigation was subsequently transferred to the anti-extortion cell.
A Truecaller search of the number from which the messages were being sent led to a Gujarat-based man named Tejalsinh Gohil. When HT reached out to Gohil who said he had no idea what was going on and that he had never misplaced or lost his phone.
“I am the media chairman for the entire Gujarat region,” Gohil said before hanging up. His Facebook profile indicates that he is associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
However, Gohil’s WhatsApp profile still had Padwal’s picture as its display image. HT sent him a screenshot of his own display image with a query regarding the same, but received no response.